My wife and I have 3 kids; all boys. Our youngest (age 3) is potty training. It is not going so well. While he is highly intelligent and grasps all the concepts he is choosing to not poop in the potty. Straight forward. Plain and simple. He is choosing not to. Over the weekend he chose to do it in our basement on the carpet. Then step in it. Then walk around. On the carpet. And on the couch cushions. Earlier tonight my wife and other boys had to play "find the pooh" in the bedrooms. I think we found it all. Hopefully.
When we ask Jude (our youngest) the intricacies of potty training he can give you all the right answers. He will gladly offer up what one should and should not do. He can tell you what actions will earn a reward and what actions will bring frustration and disappointment. Yet he is not ready to fully choose the former.
Jesus tells a story in Matthew 21 of two sons: both are asked by their father to go do some yard work. The older initially says no, then changes his mind. The younger says yes, but never follows through. Few things are more frustrating than dealing with an individual who says 'yes' with their mouth and 'no' with their actions.
As I sit in my recliner watching my Cleveland Indians' post season hopes slip away (THAT WAS STRIKE THREE, UMP!!!!) I cannot help but ask, "where have I said 'yes' with my lips but 'no' with my actions? Where am I not following through with what my Father is inviting me into?"
The worst part? As a father myself I only want the best for my children. My 3 year old will have a healthier life if he chooses discipline in this area of his life. God is a father. Jesus calls him our father. As a father he wants what is best for me, his child. Am I choosing to follow through? Am I choosing to say yes with my actions? Where am I not? More importantly, why am I not?
Had one of the fellas in a coaching huddle I lead make an interesting observation today: "Do I allow opportunities for God to show up?"
In a hyper-individualistic and entrepreneurial culture where those who pioneer and trail blaze ALONE are raised up as celebrities do I ALLOW God to be God? Or have I so structured my life, so controlled and crafted my livelihood that God is not given a chance to be God? And then I do what: cry afoul and yell at him for his absence and apparent lack of participation/interest in my life which leads to chasing the next 'experiencing him' moment (just need that next good book, conference, video series, small group, church service, sermon, worship song/experience, etc.). Maybe he is just siting on the sidelines, right where I have pushed him.
So how can I create intentional space in my life for him to be more alive and present? In what way can I give him an opportunity, today, to allow him to be the creator of the universe? How am I being invited to surrender control? What am I being invited into that will allow him to reveal his true identity as creator but I have not gone because it will also reveal my true identity as created? What about for you?